Water Has No Shape Yet It Can be In Any Shape
Be Like Water — Meaning of Success
There is a Taoist master whom people from far and wide come to seek his advice on how to be successful in life.
A man takes great pains to trek the mountain and finally arrives at his humble abode to pay respect.
“How can I be successful, Sir?” humbly asks the man, eagerly awaiting an answer.
Instead of an answer, the man hears the master asks, “What’s the shape of water?”
The man was puzzled. “The shape of water? But water has no shape!”
The Master takes out a cup and fills it with water.
“Oh, I know it now! Water is in the shape of a cup!”
The master shakes his head. Silently he decants the water into a vase.
“Now I understand, water is in the shape of a vase!” exclaims the man.
Saying not a word, the master pours the water to the ground. The ground is sandy, and the water vanishes into the sand in no time. The man ponders and says, “So … water has no shape, and yet it can be in any shape.”
The master nods his head and leads the man to a corner outside the house. Pointing to a hole in the ground he asks, “What do you see on the ground?”
“It is a hole, formed by drips from the roof,” says the man.
“Here you are! If you want to deal with the ever-changing world, be as pliable and yielding as water,” says the master. “So that you can stay close to the reality.”
” You should, on the other hand, be as focused and consistant as water, so that you can penetrate a rock,” says the master, “This is Tao.”
Awestruck, the man thanks the master for the insight that changes his life.
Water can be in any shape, so it stays close to reality. Water is focused and consistent, so it is strong enough to destroy resistance of a rock.
Like Lao Tzu says,
“The softest of all things drive the hardest of all things.
The non-substance penetrates the non-crevice.
Hence, I know the value of action without striving.
Teaching of non-words,
Benefits of non-actions,
Rarely are they outstripped in the universal.”